The adsorption and thermal decomposition of ketene on Si(l 11)‐7 × 7 were investigated using various surface analysis techniques. When the surface was exposed to ketene at 120 K, two CO stretching modes at 220 and 273 meV appeared in HREELS, corresponding to two adsorbed ketene states. After the sample was annealed at −250 K, the 273 and the 80 meV peaks vanished, indicating the disappearance of one of the adsorption states by partial desorption of the adsorbate. In a corresponding TPD measurement, a desorption peak for ketene species was noted at 220 K. Annealing the sample at 450 K caused the decomposition of the adsorbate, producing CHx and O adspecies. Further annealing of the surface at higher temperatures resulted in the breaking of the CH bond, the desorption of H and O species and the formation of Si carbide. The desorption of H at 800 K was confirmed by the appearance of the D2 (m/e = 4) TPD peak at that temperature when CD2CO was used instead of CH2CO.